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For other uses, see Kayak (disambiguation).
KAYAK Software Corporation logo.svg
Type of business Subsidiary
Founded 2004 (2004)
Headquarters Stamford, Connecticut, United States
Area served Worldwide
Founder(s) Steve Hafner
Paul M. English
Key people Steve Hafner (CEO)
Giorgos Zacharia (CTO)
Industry Travel
Travel search engine
Revenue US$292.7 million (2012)[1]
Parent The Priceline Group
Subsidiaries swoodoo
Website www.kayak.com
Alexa rank Decrease 973 (February 2017)[2]
Launched 2004; 13 years ago (2004)[3]

Kayak.com, sometimes styled as KAYAK, is a travel fare aggregator website and travel metasearch engine. The website is owned by a subsidiary of The Priceline Group.[4]

The website and mobile app is available in 20 languages and includes 40 international sites.[5] It processes 1.5 billion fare searches per year.[5]

The company also runs travel search engines checkfelix and swoodoo.



KAYAK was founded in 2004[6] by Steve Hafner and Paul M. English. Before founding KAYAK, Steve Hafner, KAYAK's current Chief Executive Officer, helped found Orbitz in November 1999 and led its business development, advertising sales, marketing, and product marketing activities.[7]

The company was originally incorporated in Delaware in 2004 under the name Travel Search Company, Inc. The name was later changed to Kayak Software Corporation in August 2004, and KAYAK Software Corporation in 2011.[4]

Growth in the United States[edit]

In December 2007, KAYAK raised $196 million in a new round of financing from a group of investors, including General Catalyst Partners, Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners, and Oak Investment Partners. Using that funding, KAYAK acquired SideStep, a competing US travel website.[8] SideStep traffic was redirected to KAYAK.com.in January 2011.[9]

On March 5, 2010, KAYAK sold certain assets related to the website travelpost.com and its travel information business to The New Travelco, Inc., a Delaware corporation, which subsequently changed its name to Travelpost, Inc.[10]

In March 2011, KAYAK began providing results in the U.S. version of Bing from multiple cities, airports and airlines in Bing's travel search section.[11]

International expansion[edit]

In May 2010, Kayake acquired the swoodoo brand, a leading travel search platform in Germany.[12]

In April 2011, KAYAK acquired all of the outstanding shares of JaBo Vertrieb-und Entwicklung GmbH, or JaBo Software. JaBo Software operates checkfelix, a leading travel metasearch website in Austria.[13]

IPO and acquisition by The Priceline Group[edit]

In November 2010, KAYAK filed its S-1 with the SEC, aiming to raise $50 million in an Initial Public Offering on the NASDAQ stock exchange.[14]

On July 20, 2012 KAYAK went public. On its first day of trading, KAYAK shares opened at $26 per share, which was higher than expected, and closed at $33.18 per share.[15]

On November 8, 2012, it was announced that KAYAK was being acquired by The Priceline Group, then known as Priceline.com, for $1.8 billion, or $40 per KAYAK share.[16] The acquisition closed on May 21, 2013.[17]

In December 2016, Kayak.com successfully defended itself against a patent infringement lawsuit and was awarded $580,000 in legal fees.[18]

Office Move[edit]

On September 25, 2013 it was announced that the State of Connecticut would assist KAYAK with a $2.5 million loan to help facilitate their move to the Harbor Point district of Stamford.[19]


In 2013, Travel + Leisure named KAYAK’s app in its list of the Best Apps for Business Travelers[20] as well as its list for the Best Apps and Websites for Travelers.[21]

Time Magazine named KAYAK to its list of the 50 Best Websites of 2009.[22]

Mashable included KAYAK in first place for the website’s list, "10 Budget Airfare Tools Every Traveler Should Know in 2012".[23]

At The Webby Awards, KAYAK received the People’s Voice award in the travel website category in 2008, the Webby Award in the travel website category in 2009, the People’s Voice award in the mobile travel app category in 2011,[24] and three more awards in 2012: both the Webby and People's Choice awards in the travel website category and the People's Voice award in the mobile travel app category.[25] In 2013, KAYAK received a Webby Award for the Best Travel Mobile & App for Handheld Devices. In 2014, KAYAK won both the People's Voice and Webby Award in the Travel category for Tablets.[26] In 2015, KAYAK Mobile won again the People's Voice in the Travel category of the Webbys.[27]

The World Travel Awards presented KAYAK with the World's Leading Flight Comparison Website award in 2013 and the World's Leading Travel Search Website award in 2011.[28]

All-American Muslim advertising (2011)[edit]

In December 2011, KAYAK announced that it would not renew a contract to advertise on the TLC reality television show All-American Muslim. The decision followed a campaign by the Florida Family Association, a one-man fundamentalist organization focused on "defending American values".[29][30] KAYAK chief marketing officer Robert Birge wrote that TLC "was not upfront with us about the nature of the show" in an explanation posted to the KAYAK website.[31]


  1. ^ King, Danny (April 3, 2013). "Kayak turns 2012 profit". Travel Weekly. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  2. ^ Alexa: KAYAK.com Site overview
  3. ^ AZITA GHAHRAMANI (December 7, 2012). "Kayak.com Co-Founder Paul English on Building an Idea". WGBH. 
  4. ^ a b "Kayak.com: Private Company Overview". Bloomberg L.P. 
  5. ^ a b Kayak: About KAYAK
  6. ^ "KAYAK CrunchBase Profile". CrunchBase. October 23, 2011. Retrieved May 13, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Steve Hafner General Catalyst Entrepreneur Page". General Catalyst. Retrieved January 13, 2012. 
  8. ^ Arrington, Michael (December 20, 2007). "Breaking: Kayak Raises $196 Million, Buys Rival SideStep". TechCrunch. Retrieved January 9, 2012. 
  9. ^ Womack, Brian (May 27, 2011). "Kayak Software Quarterly Sales Rise on Online Travel Demand". Bloomberg L.P. 
  10. ^ Schaal, Dennis (February 11, 2011). "Kayak has stake in TravelPost rollout". Tnooz. Retrieved January 10, 2012. 
  11. ^ Duryee, Tricia (March 4, 2011). "Bing Picks Kayak for Travel Search Partnership". All Things D. Retrieved January 10, 2012. 
  12. ^ Zinnagl, Lukas (May 6, 2010). "Kayak swoops on German travel search engine Swoodoo [Updated]". TechCrunch. Retrieved January 10, 2012. 
  13. ^ Taylor, Colleen (May 27, 2011). "Poised for IPO, Kayak Reports Sales Boost and Global Growth". GigaOm. Retrieved January 10, 2012. 
  14. ^ Ostrow, Adam (November 17, 2010). "Travel Search Engine Kayak Files for IPO". Mashable. Retrieved January 10, 2012. 
  15. ^ Empson, Rip (July 20, 2012). "That'll Fly: Kayak Closes IPO Day With Shares Up Nearly 30% And Market Cap Over $1.2B". TechCrunch. Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  16. ^ PANZARINO, MATTHEW. "Priceline.com acquiring travel company KAYAK for $1.8B in a deal that includes $500M in cash". The Next Web. Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  17. ^ "Priceline.com and KAYAK announce closing date of proposed merger and election deadline" (Press release). PRNewswire. May 9, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Kayak.com gets fee award in online-quote patent case". Reuters. December 21, 2016. 
  19. ^ "KAYAK to Expand and Create 50 Jobs in Stamford" (PDF). Connecticut Department of Economic Development. October 7, 2013. Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  20. ^ "Best Apps for Business Travelers". Retrieved January 13, 2014. 
  21. ^ "50 Best Websites 2009". Time Magazine. August 24, 2009. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  22. ^ Fisher, Adam (August 24, 2009). "50 Best Websites 2009". Time Magazine. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  23. ^ JOANN PAN. "10 Budget Airfare Tools Every Traveler Should Know". Mashable.com. Retrieved June 25, 2014. 
  24. ^ Webby Awards - 2011 People's Voice - KAYAK MOBILE FOR IPHONE
  25. ^ "We Won Three Webby Awards – Thanks to You". Kayak.com. May 1, 2012. 
  26. ^ "The Webby Awards 2014 the award-winning mobile campaigns with video case studies". Mobiforge. June 5, 2014. 
  27. ^ "KAYAK Webby Awards 2015". The Webby Awards. Retrieved May 24, 2015. 
  28. ^ "KAYAK". World Travel Awards. Retrieved June 23, 2014. 
  29. ^ Freedman, Samuel G. (December 16, 2011). "Waging a One-Man War on American Muslims". New York Times. Retrieved 22 July 2012. 
  30. ^ Diaz, Johnny (December 14, 2011). "Kayak won't renew ads on Muslim TV show". Boston Globe. 
  31. ^ Birge, Robert (December 15, 2011). "We Handled This Poorly". 

External links[edit]